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Obama accepts CIA director's resignation

(Xinhua) Updated: 2012-11-10 08:04

WASHINGTON -  US President Barack Obama on Friday accepted the resignation of David Petraeus, director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), according to a White House statement.

In a statement released shortly after media reports about Petraeus's resignation, Obama confirmed his acceptance of the resignation and hailed Petraeus's "extraordinary service" to the country for decades.

Obama accepts CIA director's resignation 

US General David Petraeus gestures during the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on his nomination to be director of the Central Intelligence Agency on Capitol Hill in Washington in this June 23, 2011, file photo. [Photo/Agencies]

In particular, Obama said Petraeus had helped the US military adapt to new challenges and led the servicemen through "a remarkable period of service" in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"By any measure, through his lifetime of service David Petraeus has made our country safer and stronger," wrote Obama in the statement.

"I am completely confident that the CIA will continue to thrive and carry out its essential mission," said the president. He also stressed that he had confidence in Acting Director Mike Morell, who served as the deputy CIA director and a longtime CIA officer.

Although the statement did not address the reason of resignation, Obama said his "thoughts and prayers are with Dave and Holly Petraeus" and wish them "the very best at this difficult time."

Petraeus has resigned after admitting an extramarital affair. He said in a statement that he had submitted the letter of resignation to Obama on Thursday and was accepted Friday afternoon.

"After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair. Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours," he said in the statement. "This afternoon, the president graciously accepted my resignation."

The retired four-star general, who served over 37 years in the US Army, took the office as the Director of CIA in September, 2011. He had overseen all coalition forces in Iraq and led the military campaign in Afghanistan.

Senator Dianne Feinstein, chairperson of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said in a statement that she "wished President Obama had not accepted this resignation" but respected the decision.

"This is an enormous loss for our nation's intelligence community and for our country," she said.

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